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160                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                CHAP.
was almost exterminated and the land reverted to desert.
In the Jahan Gusha we read as follows : " Not one-
thousandth of the population escaped/' and again, " If
from now to the Day of Judgment nothing hinders the
growth of population, it cannot reach one-tenth of the
figure at which it stood before the Mongol conquest/'
These words, even with all allowance for exaggeration,
express human misery at its deepest, and our finite minds,
the products of a civilized age, can barely grasp their full
meaning. Most fortunately. Southern Persia escaped the
Mongol blast of death, and it was probably owing to this
happy circumstance that the recovery was ultimately more
rapid than could have been anticipated.
The Death of Chengiz Khan> A.H. 624 (1227).—The
last campaign undertaken by Chengiz Khan was the in-
vasion of Tangut, which was overrun and ravaged. The
Great Conqueror, feeling his end approaching, appointed
Ogotay, his third son, to be his successor and advised his
sons to avoid internal strife. He then passed away
in the sixty-sixth year of his reign. His body was takqi
to his Urdu,1 and, in order to prevent his death frotfi
becoming known, every one whom the troops met on the
road was killed.
His Character and Genius.—Thus in a river of blood
passed to his sepulchre Chengiz Khan, who had destroyed
more human beings than any other recorded victorious
warrior, and had conquered the largest empire the world
had known. It must not be assumed, because of his
appalling thirst for blood, that he was lacking in genius.
On the contrary, he had shown unquestionable genius
in his early career when battling, never daunted, against
adverse circumstances, and step by step he built up an
empire which raised the despised nomads of Tartary to
the lordship of Asia.
His organization was founded on a unit of ten men,
whose chief obeyed a centurion, who in turn obeyed the
commander or a thousand, and so up to the commanders
of divisions. His policy was false, but successful.
1 The word means ^Camp," and "horde" is a corruption of it. The language
commonly known as Hindustani is more correctly termed Urdu, and derives its name
from the fact that it originated in the camp of the Moghul Emperors of Delhi.